Alec Baldwin expressed his displeasure and disappointment with reports that the National Security Agency has been collecting data on American citizens by monitoring phone records of millions of Verizon customers. “I think that the post-9/11 world is one in which people tell themselves that they’d rather be safe than sorry,” Baldwin told Buzzfeed at a New York press event promoting his new block of National Geographic specials. “And although I have an understanding of that and an appreciation of it, I do think that the democracy that we believe in and tell ourselves that we believe in, to preserve it, it takes a lot of work. And it seems that we live in a world now where people aren’t willing to do the hard work and heavy lifting.” READ FULL STORY
Tag: Alec Baldwin (11-20 of 131)
The Tony noms are out, and the closing casualties are beginning. The Constantine Maroulis/Deborah Cox-starring Jekyll & Hyde seized its final moment on Sunday, and the nommed, Alec Baldwin-led play Orphans will close on May 19 after mere weeks on the boards. (A displeased Mr. Baldwin had something to say about that this week).
But there’s still plenty of product vying for your bucks, including a slew of new Off-Broadway productions this week, from topics ranging from classical ballet to avant-garde romance to Walt Disney. Plus, The Good Wife’s Christine Baranski and a group of spirited hoofers revive On Your Toes (where you can get a rare chance to see the dance benchmark “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” in its full glory). Click on the links below to read the full reviews: READ FULL STORY
Tony, Schmony. Bette Midler may have been snubbed by Tony nominators for her one-woman comedy I’ll Eat You Last, but she’s having the last laugh at the box office. According to figures from the Broadway League, ticket sales for the Divine Miss M’s first Broadway show in 30 years jumped 17 percent for the week ending May 5, to $753,217. That’s a record for the relatively tiny Booth Theatre and comes despite the fact that Midler performed only seven shows (most Broadway productions schedule eight performances per week). Her producers took advantage of premium pricing and stellar reviews, but the Tony snub also allowed them to deny Tony voters free tickets before the June 9 ceremony and re-sell those prime seats at full price.
So what’s a Tony nomination worth these days? For the musical revival Pippin and the star-studded comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, the first week since the Tony noms boosted ticket sales by a healthy 10 percent. Pippin, which earned 10 nods (including Best Musical Revival), took in $785,386 for the week ending May 5 — an impressive 85 percent of the potential gross for the Music Box Theatre. Vanya, which earned 6 Tony noms, including Best Play, generated $449,073 at the Golden Theatre — roughly 60 percent of that 804-seat house’s maximum earnings. READ FULL STORY
The latest post-Tonys causality? Lyle Kessler’s Orphans, which will play its last performance on Sunday May 19.
The Broadway play — which made headlines prior to opening because of Shia LaBeouf’s drama with Alec Baldwin — will have played 27 previews and 37 regular performances when it closes. In addition to Baldwin, the revival, which EW’s Thom Geier called, “a vibrant exploration of masculinity,” also stars Ben Foster (who replaced LaBeouf) and Tom Sturridge. Last week, Orphans sold 70% of available tickets for the week, according to BroadwayWorld.com.
The Tony-nominated Orphans follows the recent closing announcements of The Testament of Mary (starring Fiona Shaw) and Jekyll & Hyde, which stars Constantine Maroulis.
There were plenty of surprises in the Tony nominations this morning, starting with the fact that the most-recognized show was Cyndi Lauper’s Kinky Boots (with 13 total nominations, including Best Musical) — and not presumed front-runner Matilda (with 12). Of course, the Roald Dahl-inspired Matilda might have picked up a tying 13th nomination had the four young actresses rotating in the title role not been ruled ineligible for Best Actress in a Musical (the quartet will share special Tony honors instead).
Plenty of familiar Hollywood names made the cut for nominations, including three in the Best Actor in a Play category: Tom Hanks (inching closer to EGOT status with his leading role in the late Nora Ephron’s play Lucky Guy), Nathan Lane for The Nance, and David Hyde Pierce for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.
READ FULL STORY
Matilda has emerged as a Dahled-up hit of the new Broadway season. In its first full week since its April 11 opening, the rapturously reviewed musical earned $1.13 million for the week ending April 21, according to figures from the Broadway League. That’s a 51 percent increase in ticket sales from the previous week, and represents nearly 89 percent of the potential gross from the Shubert Theatre.
Matilda is one of four brand-new shows that joined this week’s Million Dollar Club of high earners on the Great White Way. The Tom Hanks-topped drama Lucky Guy raked in $1.41 million, fully 124 percent of its potential earnings due to premium-priced ticket sales; Motown the Musical pulled down $1.15 million, 81 percent of its maximum; and the Cyndi Lauper musical Kinky Boots kicked up $1.06 million, about 73 percent of its potential high.
Rounding out this week’s Million Dollar Club are four long-running mainstays: The Lion King ($1.84 million); Wicked ($1.81 million); The Book of Mormon ($1.67 million); and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ($1.06 million).
Five more shows are slated to open this week, including a high-profile (and high-flying) revival of the musical Pippin, which last week earned $683,911 (a strong 74 percent of its potential gross). And there are early indications of box office staying power for Bette Midler’s one-woman play I’ll Eat You Last, which broke a new record last week for the relatively small Booth Theatre with $686,031 in sales. What’s even more impressive is that the Divine Miss M is playing just seven performances a week (most Broadway shows do eight).
Some other star-driven nonmusical newbies — including The Nance with Nathan Lane, Orphans with Alec Baldwin, Macbeth with Alan Cumming, and The Trip to Bountiful with Cicely Tyson and Cuba Gooding Jr. — have yet to spark much box office heat. Each show may have to hope for a strong critical embrace (several have only just opened or will be debuting in coming days) and the even stronger embrace of the Tony nominating committee (which announces its picks on April 30).
Follow Thom on Twitter: @ThomGeier
Read More on EW.com:
This Week on Stage: Alec Baldwin, Nathan Lane, The Rascals, and a slew of new openings
See Opening Night Video for The Nance
Listen to three tracks from Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
EW Stage hub
The theater season is in full-swing glory right now, and EW has covered no less than nine (!) shows since last week. Broadway is saying one permanent good night (RIP Breakfast at Tiffany’s), and hellos to stage stalwarts as varied as Alec Baldwin, Nathan Lane, Bobby Cannavale and Constantine Maroulis. And Motown legend Berry Gordy throws his hat into the ring too. So, who’s most worth your hard-earned bucks? (Click on the links below to read the full reviews):
The Assembled Parties Richard Greenberg (already on the boards this season with Tiffany’s) unveils a new play about two Christmases in a tense Upper West Side family’s history. Tanner Stransky called the play “as close to bullet-proof as they come on the Great White Way these days”, highlighting “a first-rate cast [including Judith Light and Jessica Hecht] that feels as familiar and complicated as any real-life clan”. EW grade: A– READ FULL STORY
In two weeks, Broadway’s Orphans will officially open — giving the theater community something to talk about besides the production’s tumultuous development. In the meantime, though, cast members Alec Baldwin, Tom Sturridge, and Ben Foster will just have to keep fielding questions about Shia LaBeouf, who was fired from the production after reportedly clashing with Baldwin in rehearsals.
Those questions form the core of an interview with the cast in the New York Times. And while the answers aren’t particularly juicy — there’s nothing as damning as Baldwin saying that theater’s just not Shia’s thing — they do provide a little more context about what, exactly, went wrong before LaBeouf got axed. Baldwin told writer Patrick Healy that he “didn’t look at it as my job” to make things work with LaBeouf, adding obliquely that he “didn’t really care about” his castmates’ “personal issues” at the beginning of rehearsals.
Shia LaBeouf Tom Chiarella once wrote, a real man can own up to his mistakes. And though LaBeouf — whose gradual transformation into Adam from Girls seems nearly complete — hasn’t yet acknowledged that publishing private emails on Twitter probably isn’t the best idea, the actor can admit that he got straight-up fired from Broadway’s Orphans. The reason? He and ex-costar Alec Baldwin “had tension, as men. Not as artists — as men.”
As LaBeouf told David Letterman last night, “I’m pretty passionate and impulsive, and he’s a very passionate individual as well. And I think that impulsiveness and that passion make for some fireworks.” (Naturally, he didn’t cite The Office‘s Phyllis Lapin after making this observation.) That volatile combination led to LaBeouf’s exit from the show, a move originally credited to “creative differences.” “I think that’s what you’ve gotta say for a business-savvy answer for what actually happened,” LaBeouf explained. Yep, he’s nothing if not business-savvy. READ FULL STORY
You guys, Justin Timberlake is onto us. Here’s how this season’s most highly anticipated SNL host began his monologue last night: “There are so many exciting things about hosting five times. You get to see old friends. You get to try new things. You get to inevitably let everyone down thanks to overly high expectations — thanks, Internet!”
But unlike poor Jennifer Lawrence, Timberlake didn’t fall victim to the perils of fervent anticipation. His show was a thrilling, joyous, cameo-stuffed affair that easily ranks among this season’s best, second only perhaps to Martin Short’s Christmas episode — even though Timberlake and SNL both lost a good amount of momentum after Weekend Update, where the show’s weakest sketches are traditionally stuffed.
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